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The Stone Canal: Book Two: The Fall Revolution Series Hardcover – 5 Sep 1996


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The Stone Canal: Book Two: The Fall Revolution Series + The Star Fraction: Book One: The  Fall Revolution Series
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; First Edition edition (5 Sep 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099558912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099558910
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,433,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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More About the Author

Since graduating from Glasgow University in 1976, Ken MacLeod has worked as a computer analyst in Edinburgh. He now writes full-time.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Jan 2001
Format: Paperback
I've just finished re-reading this novel and no, I was right, this is one of the best books I've read for ages.
This is a brilliant mixture of political philosophy, nanotechnology, people-as-software and a dozen other superb ideas.
This was the first of Ken MacLeod's books that I read and is much stronger than any of his others.
Highly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steven Fouch VINE VOICE on 9 Aug 2000
Format: Hardcover
Macleod's second novel (not his debut!) is an interesting, if flawed work. Spanning time from the 1970's to some indefinite point in the far future, it follows the life of Jonathan Wilde, an incidental character from the "Star Fraction" through the revolutions, wars, and turmoils that formed the historical backdrop to that novel. Like "The Sky Ships" it also starts with the same group of seventies students in a Glasgow pub discussing anarchism. It ends with a bridge into the "Cassini Division", and as such is the real link between Macleod's first and later novels.
Wilde is a character reminiscent of Abelard Lindsey in Bruce Sterling's "Schismatrix". Like Lindsey he survives through political and social upheaval, inadvertently influencing many followers who come to view him as a libertarian anarchist messiah. However, there the resemblance stops. Where Sterling's novel is a complex analysis of a bewildering array of metaphysical concepts, with a cosmological climax, "The Stone Canal" is more prosaic and parochial, but none the worse for that.
There are some sophisticated political and scientific ideas being bandied around - from free market anarchism al la extreme Thatchersim, worker's stateism and British Republicanism, to wormholes, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence. Cyberpunk with a very British feel. However, the novel falls apart when what appears to be the main narrative falls by the wayside to Wilde's reminiscences of his life, and leaving the characters that were emerging as central to play only a minor role in an apparently rushed dénouement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Jun 1999
Format: Paperback
The Stone Canal has a far wider scope than MacLeod's debut, The Star Fraction. There are two threads to the novel, set centuries and light-years apart; in one thread, MacLeod expands on Star Fraction's vision of the near future, tracking an uneasy friendship from Edinburgh University in the 1970s to the end of the characters' lives towards the end of the 21st century. The second thread, set on a distant planet some centuries into the future, sees these two characters resurrected in the form of clones. New Mars is not in our solar system and eighty percent of its inhabitants are sentient machines - a very different environment from turn-of-the-century London, and this uneasy friendship therefore takes on a very different form...
I found this novel a great improvement over Star Fraction - MacLeod's writing skills have certainly developed, and the human characters are rendered in a far more realistic manner (I found Moh Kohn, the main character in Star Fraction, to be little more than a communist Case). The juxtaposition of the modern-day storyline with the far future is most effective, though if you aren't interested in the politics of the future you may find the novel a little tedious. I myself find MacLeod's politics fascinating, and his exploration of how advanced technology, electronic intelligence and space colonisation will affect the political climate of the 21st century is far more authentic than many other authors who deal with the same themes (ie John Barnes, Neal Stephenson etc). Unfortunately MacLeod hasn't yet learned how to seriously grip a reader in the same way as his friend Mr I M Banks, but it would be unfair to expect that much of him. MacLeod's work stands on its own two feet, and very effectively at that!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steven Fouch VINE VOICE on 18 July 2000
Format: Paperback
Macleod's second novel (not his debut!) is an interesting, if flawed work. Spanning time from the 1970's to some indefinite point in the far future, it follows the life of Jonathan Wilde, an incidental character from the "Star Fraction" through the revolutions, wars, and turmoils that formed the historical backdrop to that novel. Like "The Sky Ships" it also starts with the same group of seventies students in a Glasgow pub discussing anarchism. It ends with a bridge into the "Cassini Division", and as such is the real link between Macleod's first and later novels.
Wilde is a character reminiscent of Abelard Lindsey in Bruce Sterling's "Schismatrix". Like Lindsey he survives through political and social upheaval, inadvertently influencing many followers who come to view him as a libertarian anarchist messiah. However, there the resemblance stops. Where Sterling's novel is a complex analysis of a bewildering array of metaphysical concepts, with a cosmological climax, "The Stone Canal" is more prosaic and parochial, but none the worse for that.
There are some sophisticated political and scientific ideas being bandied around - from free market anarchism al la extreme Thatchersim, worker's stateism and British Republicanism, to wormholes, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence. Cyberpunk with a very British feel. However, the novel falls apart when what appears to be the main narrative falls by the wayside to Wilde's reminiscences of his life, and leaving the characters that were emerging as central to play only a minor role in an apparently rushed dénouement.
Read more ›
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